Lincoln hires Bangor Housing liaison officer as police chief

Posted March 14, 2011, at 11:12 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Bangor police Officer William Lawrence will be Lincoln’s next chief of police.

With council Chairman Rod Carr out of state performing in a musical competition, the Town Council voted 6-0 during a meeting Monday to hire Lawrence, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said.

Lawrence is due to begin his new job on April 11. He succeeds Reserve Officer James “Jamie” Slauenwhite, an Old Town Police Department patrolman and former Lincoln police sergeant who who was appointed interim chief to succeed Police Chief Scott Minckler, who resigned effective Jan. 30 to return to Massachusetts. As part of the deal, Slauenwhite worked 20-plus hours a week as Minckler’s replacement.

The 54-year-old Lawrence is a Bangor resident and works as the Bangor police liaison officer with the Bangor Housing Authority, is a former lieutenant in the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department and a former police chief with the Pittsfield Police Department, Goodwin said.

Goodwin recommended him to the council out of 20 interviewees, she said.

“His extensive law enforcement experience and the strength of his leadership” are among the qualities that recommend him for the job as Lincoln’s top cop, Goodwin said Monday. “He will bring stability to the department, which is what the community needs.”

The department has suffered from an unprecedented turnover of officers that hasn’t been traced to any single factor. Various town officials attribute it to better salaries offered by police departments elsewhere.

Minckler has said the difficulty in being away from his wife, Jennifer, a financial analyst, and their 1½-year-old daughter, Alexa,  as well as maintaining two households, left him with no choice but to return to the Bay State. The family had been split between Maine and Massachusetts since his hiring in March 2010, and her efforts to find a job in Maine were unsuccessful.

The department’s No. 2 officer under Minckler, Sgt. Patty McLaughlin, resigned her position on the department on Dec. 20 to take a job as a Penobscot County sheriff’s deputy. McLaughlin joined the Police Department in February 2008 and was promoted to sergeant, No. 2 in the six-member force, in March 2010.

As sergeant, she replaced Kevin Giberson, who rejoined the Millinocket Police Department in late 2009.

Minckler replaced Police Chief William Flagg, who left the department in late August 2009 to rejoin the Sheriff’s Department in a part-time capacity as he worked toward a faculty position at an area college or university.

Lawrence will earn about $56,000 annually in his new position, Goodwin said.

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